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What would happen if the plastic waste the UK exports each day was instead dumped on Downing Street and Boris Johnson?

Voiced by two of Britain’s best impressionists, Jon Culshaw and Matt Forde, the animation raises awareness of the plastic pollution crisis the UK is creating overseas as well as putting pressure on the government.

Directors & writers

Jorik Dozy & Sil van der Woerd


Wenhao Tan & Adam Booth

VFX Supervisor

Alex Scollay

Get Involved

Plastic the UK government claims it recycles is being sent overseas and dumped or burned in the open air, with local communities in Turkey and Malaysia reporting serious health problems. Take action now and stop this crime.

Stop uK export of plastic waste



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International Media Features


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Waste Crisis

Globally, many rich first world countries such as the USA, Germany, Australia and the UK export huge quantities of their plastic waste to third world and developing countries. The plastic that is carefully washed and sorted for recycling by the people is being shipped off to other countries where much of it ends up illegally dumped or burned, poisoning local people and polluting oceans and rivers.

The UK exported 688,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste in 2020 which equates to an average of 1.8 million kilograms a day. It is illegal to export plastic waste unless it is recycled or incinerated in an energy-from-waste plant but investigations have revealed evidence of UK plastic being dumped and burned in the countries the UK exports the most plastic waste to, such as Turkey and Malaysia.

The Campaign

When Wasteminster released, it went viral within hours and quickly became one of the most shared pieces of content from Greenpeace UK with over 10 million views in a week. It send shockwaves through the political world and caused heavy discussions online and in the press.

Greenpeace brought the film into the real world by dumping 30 seconds worth of trash exports in front of Downing Street. The film inspired school children to write signs in protest and bring them to the Prime Minister.

"The dedication and outstanding technical ability that has gone into this animation is phenomenal. We’re so grateful for the creativity of Studio Birthplace and Park Village, the ecological ethos of directors Sil & Jorik, and the CGI skills of Method & Madness. This powerful film will show people the shocking truth about what happens to plastic the government tells us is being recycled. And who better to enlist for the voiceovers than impressionists from the legendary Spitting Image, the impeccable voice talents of Jon Culshaw and Matt Forde."

Greenpeace Senior Campaigner Nina Schrank

Changed The Law

Greenpeace campaigners delivered petitions from the UK and Turkey to 10 Downing Street, calling on the UK government to stop dumping plastic waste in Turkey. The petition was signed by 422,735 in the UK and 71,000 in Turkey. Greenpeace demanded that the UK government immediately ban exports of plastic waste and tackle plastic pollution at source by reducing single use plastic by 50% by 2023.

Due to the pressure of the campaign, Turkey announced a ban on plastic waste imports coming from the UK. The immediate result of the ban was a dramatic drop of waste entering the country, reaching almost zero.

Unfortunately, the fight continues as slowly plastic waste imports started rising again and eventually the ban was reverted by the Turkish government.

"We didn’t want to put words into Boris’s mouth so we went through hours of interviews and speeches by Boris and the government where plastic pollution and the environment were discussed and quotes were extracted. All statements in the film were made by Boris and the government."

Directors Jorik Dozy & Sil van der Woerd

1.8 Million KG

To visualize how much trash the UK exports daily, we started with the latest real world data. In 2020, the UK exported an average of 1.8 million kilograms of plastic waste every single day.


We researched the most common items found in household plastic waste, which resulted in 150 different pieces - plastic bags, coffee cups, etc. These were then modeled in 3d with various crushed or damaged variations to add to the realism. Using Daniel Webb and Dr. Julie Schneider’s research of their ‘Everyday Plastic’ project, we fine tuned the balance between all the items and how frequent they are found in our trash. We then looked up the average weight of each of the 150 items and concluded that it takes on average, 37 plastic items to make up 1KG of plastic waste. 

That makes the daily export of UK plastic waste a total of 67.7 million pieces.

The talented team at Method & Madness under leadership of CG Director Alex Scollay built a digital Downing Street set using satellite imagery onto which we unleashed a computer simulation. To define the actual size of the waste pile, we combined 1,000 plastic items into a single, large ball. We then dropped 67.7 thousand of those balls onto our digital set, giving us a realistic representation of the actual daily volume. In total, the two minute film required roughly 14,600 hours of render time, or 20 months, to create the final shots. The CO2 emitted by our render farm was compensated for.